Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011

We had a fabulous holiday weekend and are in denial that we have to resume our normal routines tomorrow.  Andrew, especially, needed a break after a terrible and emotionally draining week at work. 

The kids had school off on Wednesday.  B-train spent some time at a friend's house.

The girls and I started baking.
Mmmmm...pumpkin pie.

This year, we got together with our friends, Chris & Tiffany and April & Ben.
 We've been friends since we all moved to NC,
when we were young(er) couples with one kid each.

Look at what happened in the last eight years!
Tiffany agreed to host at her house (Yipee!) and all of us pitched in with the meal.  Andrew was in charge of the turkey.  He brined it again and it was his best turkey yet--moist and tasty.  We also brought a chocolate toffee pie, Grandma Cuca's red jello salad, rolls, a veggie tray, and asparagus--my kids' only request. 

Our feast was scrumptious.

And we had pies galore.

The kids had a BLAST together.
jumping on the trampoline,

watching the big kids jump,

playing the wii together,
board games,
and just hanging out.

And we didn't break up a single fight among these kiddos.
How is that possible?
We didn't ask, just counted our blessings.

The grown-ups had fun watching football,
playing a little game of football with the kids,
burned off some of our calories playing Just Dance,
played Apples to Apples and Scum.
And watched more football.

When we can't be with family for the holidays, 
I'm grateful to share them with such good friends.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Last soccer game

Brandon's soccer season has ended.  He misses it already.  His team ended up doing well.  Their final record was 4-4-1.  When the regular season was over, they had a tournament.  It was intense!  B's team ended their game in a tie, so it went to penalty kicks.  It was oh so close, but they ended up losing by one.  It may have been for the best as far as Brandon was concerned because the next game (for the championship) took place on Sunday, and he would have had to miss it.

We got a few more good action shots.

I love the look of determination in his face.

It is so fun to see his confidence on the field, despite
being one of the youngest.

SO close to heading that one!

While he was happy with the season and wishes he could play in the spring, I was disappointed.  I think we had two practices all season long.  It's hard to learn and improve fundamentals in games.  I'm hesitant to sign him up with this league again, but he's determined that he wants to keep playing.  We'll see what happens.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another year older

We celebrated Andrew's birthday earlier this month with a small little family party here at home.  It was perfect.  He requested Papa John's pizza for dinner.  Yeah for easy!  He loves homemade chocolate cake, so that's what we made for dessert.  I love that the girls help me (and are actually helpful!) in the kitchen. 
I got him Panthers tickets again this year, and they were not a surprise.
He and Brandon get to go to a game on Christmas Eve.  Woo hoo!

The kids each chose a small gift for him and 
we made him go on a treasure hunt to find him.
He was a good hunter.

Whit picked out a Panthers football.

B chose some of his favorite candies.

But the most surprisingly thoughtful gift came from Caroline.
All on her own, she decided to get her
daddy some fish oil tablets,
which she knows Andrew takes every night.
She apparently cares about her daddy's health!

We love you so much, Drew!
We're happy to celebrate another year with you--
and it was a surgery- and ER-free one, too!  Yippee!

Friday, November 18, 2011

More BMXing

We have had some GORGEOUS fall weather last week.  Too nice to stay inside.  I took B-train up to The Zone (his favorite BMX spot) so he could practice his moves.  He was in heaven.

 It was my first time to see The Zone.  It is a cool course, but a lot of work.  It's a downhill course.  So every time you go through it (which takes about 32 seconds) you have to then ride your bike back up to the top of the hill.  It was exhausting to watch!  But so worth it to B.

I took a couple little video clips, too.  It was my first try using my SLR for video.  Hope the clips aren't too jumpy.

And that is why I have to buy a new tube for his tires every month or two.  :)

The teeter-totter part is my favorite.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Times change

For one of my church Young Women projects when I was in high school, I decided to make a resource file that I could use to prepare talks and lessons.  I spent hours and hours copying talks and books and putting them in nice little hanging file folders, alphabetized by subject.  Like this:

This baby has moved to four states and ten different homes with me.  It is well traveled.

But it has never been used.  Because right after I came up with my fabulous idea for a resource file, the internet became widely available.  And it's much easier to google any of these topics than to flip through my file folders.  So, today I decided it was time to say good-bye.  I emptied it out.  Sorted the talks into a "scratch paper" pile and a "recycle" pile.  Saved about five talks out of sentimentality.  And tried to figure out something useful to do with a now empty portable file folder.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


My first season on the neighborhood tennis team went SOOO well.  I loved it.  It was fun for me to play competitively again.  I got to spend time with my friends.  And I improved in my tennis skills.

And, the bonus piece of good news is that our team finished in SECOND place out of twelve teams.  It's the highest they've ever finished.  Yes!  I like to think I was the lucky charm.  :)

Most of our teammates:
Michelle, Me, Amy, Mary
Stacey, Troyce, Diane, Deb
Chrissy and Trisha

Looking forward to Spring season!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Corn Maze

Made our second annual trip to the corn maze.  The day before we went, it rained and rained.  But, we were happy that it was a beautiful sunny day for our trip.  With lots of mud for Brandon to fall in. 

Family photo with the oversized pumpkins.
Notice Caroline is wearing her pink cowgirl boots.
With sweatpants.

The jumping pillow was a big hit again.

 I love these freeze frame pics of the kids jumping.
When I showed Caroline this pic, she thought
her hair was hilarious.  "It's sticking straight up!"

Toe touch

Love W's hair, too.


This time, we solved not one but TWO corn mazes.
First we tackled the kiddie maze.
We searched for animal footprints to figure
out who stole the farmer's pies.

Before we took on the big challenge,
we measured ourselves.
Andrew still has not started shrinking.

The big kids did GREAT in the maze.
And Caroline only asked to be carried 
part of the way.  I would have asked
to be carried, too, after walking around 
in those boots for so long.

Since we were seasoned veterans, we solved the
mystery fairly quickly this year.
(Notice B's muddy hoodie.  He took quite a spill.)
LOVE spending time as a family, enjoying the sunshine,
exploring the maze, and savoring the caramel kettle corn at the end.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes--October

10/14--I came downstairs wearing a purple shirt and hat.  Caroline looked at me and said, "Mom, you're purplicious!"

10/14--Part of Brandon's prayer tonight was, "Thank thee that we have such an awesome mom and dad."  Awwww...I think that was one of the biggest compliments I've ever received.

 I love this wheelie-riding boy.

10/15--This morning Caroline told me that in her dream last night she was a lollipop princess in Candyland.  Doesn't get much better than that.

 Princess Lolly

10/16--Whit, Andrew and I were playing "Apples to Apples."  For those of you unfamiliar with the game, there are cards with adjectives on them and you try to match a noun in your hand to that descriptive word.  Whit was the judge and the word was "Gigantic" and as a quick description underneath it said "huge, large."  Whit immediately said, 'Like Dad's head!"

10/17--Caroline's random observation of the day, "Sometime boys wear tannish-white."

 I think it's called "khaki."

10/17--When we asked Whit about recess at school today, she told us she played "Justin Bieber's Dog."  What's that?  Exactly what it sounds like--she and her friends would take turns pretending to be Justin Bieber's dog.  Interesting.

But she SWEARS she is NOT a JB fan.  Anymore.

10/20--When I was telling the kids that I was going to Time Out for Women this weekend, C asked, "How long do you have to be in the corner?"  Brandon, Whit, and I started laughing.  C waited a minute and then asked again, "No, really.  How long do you have to be in the corner?"

 Not THAT kind of time out.

10/21--I was patting Caroline's head and jokingly said, "Good doggy!"  She snapped back, "I'm not your doggy, I'm your husband.  Husbands are children.  And children are darlings.  And darlings are women.  And then they turn into animals.  And then baby dinosaurs."  Whoa.

 She lost me.

10/29--After the trunk-or-treat, Whit was eating a piece of candy and couldn't decide what flavor it was.  Caroline had a suggestion, "I think it's lemon fresh peanut doom."  

10/30--Whit has a deck of cards with questions about America.  On the drive to church, she was asking us some.  One asked, "Who said, 'Give me liberty or give me death?'"  C guessed, "Frankenstein!" 

Think she had Halloween on the brain?

Random photos

 One elaborate balloon hat

How the girls would spend their time during B's soccer games.
Whit does NOT look comfortable.

Whit made herself a tree swing!
The cardboard only survived for a few minutes.
But the rope is still hanging in there.
And she uses it almost every day.